An artist narrates the world visually, but why are they needed? The role of an artist can be one of breaking conformity and aiding in peacekeeping aims. They may not always be perceived as good people since some aim to change the minds of audiences. Therefore, the question remains: is being an artist a matter of ethical principles or is it just a form of martyrdom.
From an academic point of view, you could say that what an artist does is similar to that of a psychologist Sigmund Freud, the famous psychoanalyst, tells that that a person needs to narrate their way around a trauma in order to get over it. With careful guidance, a person can deal with emotional traumas.
From the more vocational perspective of art, you could apply Freud’s theory to how art works. The artists would be the middle man, in that they would be the ones constructing the narrative. This means that a person would just need to comprehend the artwork in order to recover from whatever they are dealing with. Hypothetically, this could mean that the artist is painting their own dreams in order to narrate their own problems.
Dreamers are often frowned upon in modern day society, as explained to us through the life story of John Lennon and in his song “Imagine”. The world is never ready for controversial ideas. Philosopher and psychologist Foucault, states that we are all subjects of social institutions, for example a student of university or a family member. We need to follow some often unwritten rules to remain in these institutions, so being controversial is not an option unless that person wants to be considered “ill”.
Artists are required to express their dreams, which potentially could mean veering off these laid paths they ought to be consciously following. To put it literally a person will be turning their subconscious into consciousness and that is what is considered not conforming to institutional discourse. The world wants conformity and that could potentially mean being under a form of a communist regime. Would this then hypothesise that it is not ethical to wake a dreamer, being that most people agree that communism is a negative form of political control?
It is far too easy to lose the innocence in being allowed to dream in society today. Artists Marcel Duchamp and Sarah Lucas explain that innocence dies with the growth of maturity. Eyes sting when they see light for the first time, and so does losing innocence. The Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet film “Finding Neverland” is the perfect example of what an artist’s job is. Artists paint dreams we no longer see, for the purpose of bringing a person back to their younger, more carefree self, with guidance.
We must take responsibility for keeping the arts alive. Art is a potential cure for conformity and the reminder of naivety once lost. We must not wake a dreamer.